In a column for the Washington Post, political observer Colbert King suggests that Donald Trump will exercise his presidential prerogatives and pardon former aides convicted of crimes associated with himself or his campaign because his base seems to not care what he does while in office.
According to the columnist: it’s not a matter of if, but of when.
“The future isn’t promised, but it is a good bet that three felons and close allies of President Trump — Roger Stone (found guilty of obstruction of a congressional investigation, witness tampering and lying to Congress), Paul Manafort (serving a prison sentence for tax evasion and bank fraud) and Michael Flynn (pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI) — will be granted executive clemency,” he writes.
“Trump’s safest course of action would be to wait to do the dirty deed until after Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020. Trump’s impulsiveness, however, is a wild card,” he writes “Impeached or not, Trump can still grant pardons without fear of a citizens’ revolt — once the polls close. Even if the voters serve him with an eviction, Trump can still cut his boys loose, provided he acts before turning off the lights in the Oval Office.”
According to King, Trump simply doesn’t care about looking unethical, only the exercise of power.
“The Stone, Manafort and Flynn prediction is offered with confidence because of Trump’s demonstrated disregard for the integrity of the criminal-justice system,” he explained. “That disdain was on display in his recent chiseling of the military judicial process. Against the advice of experienced, respected leaders in the Pentagon, Trump intervened in three cases involving war-crimes accusations, overturning decisions of military juries and issuing full pardons to two soldiers convicted of war crimes, as well as reversing disciplinary action against a third service member, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL.”
“Trump doesn’t think rules apply to him,” King asserted. “With that presidential mind-set, Stone, Manafort and Flynn can rest easy this holiday season. Help is on the way; it’s only a matter of time.”
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Trump Fires Another Inspector General During Latest Friday Night News Dump: Report
On Friday, Politico reported that Steve Linick, the inspector general of the State Department, has been fired.
Linick, a former official of the Justice Department, was appointed to the inspector general position by President Barack Obama in 2013. According to Politico, “he played a minor role in the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, ferrying a trove of documents to lawmakers that had been provided to the State Department by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.”
He will be replaced by Ambassador Stephen Akard, who previously headed the State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions.
In recent months, Trump has fired several inspectors general, particularly those who have been involved in investigating misconduct accusations against his administration, sparking fears of retaliation.
‘We May See an Accomplice’: Ex-FBI Official Warns Barr Could Try to Indict Obama Team to Win the 2020 Election
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace poured cold water on the latest Republican talking points about the tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory they’ve concocted called Obamagate.
Speaking with former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi and former White House acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, Wallace noted that if the Trump team tries to go after Barack Obama, they’re going to end up taking down some Republicans along with them.
“The person who warned Donald Trump not to put Mike Flynn on any of the lists on key national security posts wasn’t a Democrat, it wasn’t Obama,” recalled Wallace. “It was Chris Cristie, Chris Christie was fired as head of the transition for not putting Mike Flynn on the list for any important national security position. Fact, Chris Christie was punished by Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, they dumped the transition books which didn’t have Mike Flynn’s name on any of the lists because he, too, shared concerns about whether Mike Flynn was suitable for a national security position. So, there’s a pretty inconvenient little wrinkle in Donald Trump’s fantastical delusions about Mike Flynn and Chris Christie didn’t think he belonged in a national security post, either.”
In an NBC News editorial, Figliuzzi wrote that the president is likely headed into a campaign where he will be flinging conspiracy theories aimlessly in effort to save his own skin.
“We’re heading toward a period of time that’s going to be quite ugly. Where he’s going to certainly imply and want people to infer that President Obama and Vice President Biden engaged in a conspiracy against him to gin up the Russia hoax and the case against Flynn,” said Figliuzzi. “On a worst-case scenario, we may see an accomplice in this mess, the attorney general of the United States who might go to attempt to charge or smear in some official way, perhaps even to call a grand jury, where we see former officials, prior administration officials attacked, in an attempt to ruin them.”
While there’s no precedent of a new president indicting the previous president, that would set a complicated precedent if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in 2020. If Trump tries to indict Obama, it would open the door for Biden to indict Trump if he wins.
He went on to explain how important to focus on the “fact vs. fiction” aspect of the story and call out the conspiracy theories. Both the Federalist article and Trump are clutching their pearls about “the notion that because the intelligence community was briefing the Obama administration” while he was still president, explained Figliuzzi. Because “Obama said this concerns me because we’re about to give classified briefings to the incoming administration, please tell me whether we can trust Flynn to give them the intelligence briefings, the intel community went out and looked at this.” That’s the so-called “scandal” the White House thinks is such a problem.
Meanwhile, the latest Harvard-Harris poll shows that 53 percent of Americans still believe what the Christopher Steele Dossier said was accurate. A Pew poll cited 72 percent of Americans anticipate Russia or some other foreign government will likely try to hack the 2020 election. That while 51 percent of the Americans surveyed who said Trump had encouraged election interference, the NPR/PBS/Marist Poll revealed.
Watch the video below:
Emergency Coronavirus Support Checks Delayed So Trump’s Name Can Appear
President Donald Trump wanted his name to appear on tens of millions of paper checks the Treasury Dept. is sending to help support Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin obliged, even though it will delay delivery of the checks, desperately needed by many to pay for food and rent, by several days.
It is the first time any President’s name will appear on any IRS disbursements.
“The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, ‘President Donald J. Trump’ will appear on the left side of the payment, The Washington Post reports. “It is standard practice for a civil servant to sign checks issued by the Treasury Department to ensure that government payments are nonpartisan.“
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